Romney criticizes Santorum as career politician

By Kasie Hunt

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Jan. 1 2012 3:15 p.m. MST

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign appearance at the Family Table restaurant Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Atlantic, Iowa.

Chris Carlson, Associated Press

ATLANTIC, Iowa — Mitt Romney is criticizing rival Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum as a career politician and defending his own conservative credentials.

Two days before the Iowa caucuses, Romney told reporters his background is "quite different" from Santorum because the former Pennsylvania senator "spent his career in government in Washington."

At a stop Sunday in western Iowa, Romney also offered his record as governor of Massachusetts as evidence that he is as conservative as Santorum, who has risen quickly in the polls.

Santorum has highlighted his socially conservative credentials as he has campaigned across Iowa. Romney still leads in the polls, but he has struggled to win over conservative evangelicals because of his changed position on abortion.

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